ESPN used to be an oasis back in the good old days. By good old days, I mean that period of time where sports people talked sports and nothing else.
That way, you would have a good buffer to escape to at the end of a long day at work when all you wanted to do was watch a ball game and not have to listen to someone drone on about what they thought about politics when they should be telling you about an upcoming game.
Ratings for Monday’s debut of ESPN’s highly-anticipated new morning show, Get Up!, were dismal despite all the resources the network has put into its production.
ESPN has spent millions on Get Up!, paying the three hosts nearly $15 million, and it is hoping to have a long-term hit on its hands. However, its debut episode was nothing to write home about, ratings-wise, according to OutKick the Coverage.
As Outkick’s Clay Travis writes, the new morning show is “already a ratings disaster.”
“The show received tens of thousands fewer viewers than SportsCenter did last year on both ESPN and ESPN2. This means ESPN spent tens of millions of dollars to have less viewers than it did before this show even existed,” Travis wrote. “Ratings were down double digits over the same time last year.”
According to ShowBizDaily.com, Monday’s episode only garnered 283,000 viewers making it one of the lowest rated debuts for the cable sports network in years.
Worse, an episode of the children’s cartoon show Peppa Pig earned triple the ratings.
Travis also noted that the debut was “down over 40% in 18-34 viewership.” He then added, “Over 40%! That’s almost impossible to pull off.”
The show opened with a superhero spoof featuring hosts Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose, sporting masks and capes to joke about the high expectations for the show. Indeed, in the show-opening spoof Greenberg tried to act as if social justice “wokeness” is not on the menu for the show, “Just normal sports stuff,” he said.
The joke may have fallen as flat as the show’s new ratings.
Reviews of the show were not effusive instead pleading with audiences to give Get Up!time to develop. Outlets such as the Chicago Tribune, Awful Announcing, and The Ringer all hoped audiences would not judge the show only by its debut, meaning the opener was not scintillating even for those who wish it well.